Case presentation . Musab bin shuayl , MD . HISTORY :. A 37-year-old woman with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma) presented to the emergency room (ER) complaining of
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Musab bin shuayl, MD
A 37-year-old woman with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma)
presented to the emergency room (ER) complaining of
fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea(non bloody) for 2 days . She reported having chemotherapy 5 days ago.
Past medical history :
The patient’s large cell lymphoma was initially diagnosed in 2010 after she developed a mass in the left side of her neck. Lymph node biopsy was positive for large cell lymphomaCD20+. Bone marrow biopsy was negative. She was treated with cyclophosphamidedoxorubicin/vincristine/prednisolone (CHOP) for 6 cycles.
Her father died of colon cancer at age 83. Her mother had a cardiovascular accident at age
68, but is alive and otherwise healthy. She has 2 sisters, aged 33 and 26 years, who are healthy and alive
She is teacher and has no children. She has a 10-year smoking history but quit 3 months ago.
ALLERGY HISTORY : -VE
SYSTMIC REVIEW : unremarkable
the patient appeared fatigued and weak. She was experiencing chills, overall, looked ill
temperature of 101.8°F (38,8)
respiratory rate of 20 breaths/minute
heart rate of 122
blood pressure of 80/50 mm Hg.
The patient’s immediately started on Iv fluid(NS) and antibiotics (piperacillin and torbramycin).
Because of her unstable blood pressure and other signs of sepsis, she was quickly transferred to the intensive careunit (ICU).
In the ICU she continued on IV fluid antibiotics and pressors were started to maintain the blood pressure. She was subsequently intubated as a result of volume overload from fluid resuscitation. She was tapered off pressors 24 hours later and extubated 48 hours later.
cultures had no growth during her hospital stay. She was transferred to the oncology ward, finished her antibiotics and 12 days later was sent home .
Neutropenia is defined as an abnormally low level of neutrophils in the blood.
1. Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) calculation:
ANC = (WBC count) x (neutrophil % + band %)
ANC<1000 cells/microliter, falling, predicted nadir <500
>38.0°C (100.4°F) for more than 1 hour
- Neutropenicfever is a potentially fatal complication of anti-cancer treatment (Mortality
rates ranging between 15 and 20%) .
- Without timely treatment, studies showed a mortality rate of nearly 70%!!
Anyone on antineoplastic medication needs to be closely followed for the development of neutropenia.
Patients undergoing treatment for hematologic malignancies are at higher risk for developing neutropenia.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia: 93%
CHOP (Non-Hodgkin): 22%
Cisplatin/etoposide (SCLC): 38%
Fluorouracil (colon): 22%Patients at risk
Ozer H et al. JCO 2000; 18: 20 3558-3585.
Gram negative organisms
Keep these in mind when initiating treatmentCommon pathogens to consider in a neutropenic patient
A. Patients who are neutropenic and febrile should be considered unstable and seen promptly.
B. Antibiotics should be administered immediately upon the patient's arrival
Offer beta lactam monotherapycefepimeor ceftazosin with piperacillin-tazobactam as initial empiric antibiotic therapy for suspected neutropenic fever
C- Prior to any antibiotic administration, cultures must be obtained.
D- COMPLETE PHYSICAL EXAM must be performed.
Carefully examine the skin, mouth, buccal mucosa, IV sites, external genitalia, and perirectal area
E. LABORATORY EXAM should include:
1. Complete blood count with differential and platelets
2. Aerobic and anaerobic cultures
3. Electrolytes, BUN, Cr, Ca, Phos, Mg
4. Liver function tests (AST, ALT, Bili)
5. Urinalysis with microscopic exam (if symptomatic)
6. Cultures of other sites if symptomatic
If the patient is:
a. Afebrile for at least 24 hours
b. The blood cultures are negative 36-48 hours after being obtained
c. There is no identification of a localized infection
If any of the above 4 criteria are NOT present, the patient should remain hospitalized and on antibiotics. Consider fungal or viral causes
Neutropenic sepsis is a potentially fatal complication of anti-cancer treatment